Socceroo Brad Smith has spared Liverpool’s blushes in the FA Cup after the defender netted a second-half equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Exeter City on Friday.
Liverpool had to twice come from behind at St James’ Park in Devon in order to earn a third round replay, with Smith becoming the third Aussie, behind Craig Johnston and Harry Kewell, to score for the Reds.
A giant killing was always on the cards with the injury-hit Premier League outfit without 11 first-team players and playing their third game inside a week against their fourth tier opposition.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp made 11 changes from the team that beat Stoke City in the opening leg of the League Cup semi-finals earlier in the week, with Smith making his first start under the German.
And the Liverpool boss in his first game in the competition saw his side briefly fall behind when Tom Nichols' ninth-minute opener was cancelled out by Jerome Sinclair's first goal for the visitors three minutes later.
Klopp's young side acquitted themselves well after levelling, but trailed 2-1 at the break when second-choice goalkeeper Adam Bogdan made a mess of Lee Holmes' corner - the winger's delivery sailing directly into the far corner.
However Smith came to the rescue, with the 21-year-old reacting quickest to an Exeter clearance to divert the ball back into the net 17 minutes from time.
“It was an honour to score my first goal for Liverpool,” said Smith post-match.
“I wish we could have got the win at the end there, but we’ve took it to the replay and we’ll take it to Anfield and show them how we play there.”
Smith has now made four appearances for Liverpool, following his senior debut in December 2013 and also has four Socceroos caps.
A photo posted by Brad Smith (@bradsmith_94) on Jan 9, 2016 at 2:06am PST
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